Mechanical Fundamentals for Operators

Course Description

This program will improve mechanical skills and give a better overall understanding of mechanical devices and terminology to the participants.

During this workshop participants will learn how to reduce costly downtime and reduce maintenance calls through proper recognition of mechanical maintenance issues and the corrective actions to take to resolve the issues.

This program will not only teach people what to look for in belt/pulley wear, but it will also teach them how to correctly select the proper belt for replacement.

The participant will learn not only mechanical devices such as drive chain, sprocket types and selection, and mechanical drive couplers.

The participant will gain practical knowledge of how, when, and what to lubricate.

Every participant in this workshop will assemble, adjust, and learn the proper installation of belts and chain drives, adjustment, and proper tensioning.

This is a highly interactive experience that allows the participant to learn from a "hands-on approach," and gain knowledge that will increase confidence and communication between operators and maintenance personnel.

Topical Outline

I. Proper Tools
  • Using belt sheave gauges to determine wear
  • Establishing replacement wear indicators
  • Hand tool safety
II. Bearings and Seals
  • Terms and classifications
  • Bearing types and correct uses
  • Seal types and correct usage
  • Operation and replacement
  • Locating bad seals and bearings
III. Belts
  • Belt types and identification
  • Numbering systems
  • Pulleys and sheaves inspection
  • Pulley and sheave proper installation
  • Proper alignment and tension
IV. Drive Couplers
  • Types of drive couplers
  • How to spot a bad or misaligned coupler
V. Lubricant
  • Proper types and classifications
    Common lubrication problems
VI. Chain Drive Systems
  • Chain types and identification
  • Numbering systems
  • Sprocket types and identification
  • Proper alignment and tensioning
  • Troubleshooting chain failures
Hands-On Labs
  • Installing a shaft with pillow blocks
  • Mounting a fractional HP motor
  • Installing a flexible coupling
  • Straight edge alignment
  • Belt and Pulley installation labs
  • Sheave sizing and proper installation
  • Installing, aligning and correctly tensioning a belt
  • Proper belt tensioning methods
  • Belt selection and tensioning
  • Identification of proper components
  • Selecting the proper chain for the system
  • Installing chain sprockets and chain
  • Taking a chain apart and installing links correctly
  • Properly measuring chain tension


There are no prerequisites to this class and it is open to all operations and or production personal. This course is not designed for the full time maintenance person, but rather as a tool to help improve the plant productivity.

Course Length

This course is designed as a three day course or a 24 hour class for most plant sites.